Animal Conservation

Marines and Wildlife Service work to save Gnatcatcher

CAMP PENDLETON – The US Fish and Wildlife Service and United States Marine Corps facilities west of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton have developed a Recovery Credit System (RCS) for the Gnatcatcher. California (Polioptila californica californica) threatened by the federal government on non-federal lands in southern California.

The Service classified the Gnatcatcher as Threatened in 1993, primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation resulting from urban and agricultural development and other associated factors. The RCS Gnatcatcher will establish new conservation lands contributing to the recovery of the Gnatcatcher and increase training flexibility at Southern California Marine Corps facilities.

“The finalization of the RCS is an important step in our cooperative effort to balance wildlife conservation and support for military training in Southern California,” said Scott Sobiech, field supervisor for the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. “The system is an example of how federal agencies can work together to achieve their respective goals, and we look forward to strengthening our relationships of trust.”

The Marine Corps Gnatcatcher RCS will primarily rely on the Department of Defense Environmental Preparedness and Protection Integration Program to fund the conservation and management of land occupied by gnatcatchers, supporting efforts of the Service to protect occupied habitat from development and other disturbances.

Under an SCR, a federal agency conducts activities that benefit threatened and endangered species on non-federal lands, creating a “bank” of credits used to offset any negative impacts on species resulting from certain actions. .

In return for conserving gnatcatcher habitat, the Marine Corps will relax existing training restrictions in specific training areas on Camp Pendleton and Air Station Miramar that have been put in place to avoid impacts on the gnatcatcher.

“Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, in coordination with the Department of Defense Environmental Preparedness and Protection Integration Program and in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, provided an effective solution and flexible in line with the Endangered Species Act, providing a catalyst for conservation, ”said the brigadier. Gen. Jason G. Woodworth, Commanding General of Western Marine Corps Installations.

“This sustainable conservation effort will benefit the California Coast Gnatcatcher, while giving our fighters the flexibility they need to perform mission-critical training and maneuvers in our ecologically diverse training areas like us and the Gnatcatcher. let’s call home. ”

The California Coast Gnatcatcher belongs to the Old World Warbler and Gnatcatcher family Sylviidae. It is a small, blue-gray, non-migrating songbird that measures 4.5 inches and weighs 0.2 ounces. It is found in or near coastal sage habitat from southern Ventura south through Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties to Baja California, Mexico.

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